Snowstorm causes two auto fatalities boy killed on sled Silver Spring youth coasts under car

January 27, 1992|By Dennis O'Brien

The weekend snowstorm that dumped up to 5 inches of snow on parts of Maryland caused two highway fatalities and led to three sledding accidents, one of them killing an 11-year-old boy in Silver Spring.

Montgomery County police said Matthew Hartmann, of the 10200 block of Sutherland Road, rode his plastic sled down a hill about 10 a.m. and went beneath a moving car that dragged him several feet along Southwood Avenue.

Police said that the driver, John Bobich of Silver Spring, hit his brakes immediately but that the road was covered with snow and ice at the time of the accident, and he slid several feet.

The child died shortly after noon at Children's Hospital in Washington, a police spokesman said. Police said Mr. Bobich was not at fault in the accident, and no charges were filed.

Two other children, including the 3-year-old daughter of a state police MedEvac helicopter pilot, also were injured in unrelated sledding accidents and were flown to the Johns Hopkins Pediatric Trauma Center.

The first highway death occurred Saturday night. State police said Christopher Kraus, 25, of Mallard Point in McDaniel, was heading west on U.S. 50 near the border of Prince George's and Anne Arundel counties at 11:30 p.m. when his car hit a State Highway Administration snowplow.

The victim, who was driving an Isuzu Impulse, was pronounced dead at Anne Arundel General Hospital in Annapolis.

The truck driver, Clarence Tasker, 55, of Annapolis, and his passenger, who was not identified, were not injured.

Another motorist was killed when his car hit a guardrail in the Northpoint section of Baltimore County early yesterday.

Baltimore County police said John Joseph Redmond, 43, of Shore Road, Edgemere, was heading east on the snow-covered Peninsula Expressway, near Merritt Boulevard, about 12:45 a.m. when his car rode onto the concrete median, traveled another 40 feet, hit a metal rail in the center of the median and spun back onto the highway.

The impact threw the victim against the steering column of his 1966 Olds Cutlass. He was pronounced dead at the Francis Scott Key Medical Center.

Police said most of the other accidents around the state were fender-benders, and that they were relatively few in number because the snow began falling early Saturday evening, a time when traffic is traditionally slow.

The helicopter pilot's daughter was injured in a sledding accident about 4 p.m. at the North Harford Elementary School in Whiteford.

State police spokesman Chuck Jackson said Ashley Force was sledding down a hill and collided with a set of bleachers. Her condition was unavailable last night, but a hospital spokeswoman said the injuries were not life-threatening.

The girl's father, Trooper William Force, flies a helicopter based at Martin State Airport. Mr. Jackson said Trooper Force flies the helicopter that picked up his daughter, but was not on duty yesterday.

Shortly after the helicopter carried Ashley to Johns Hopkins, it was flown to Catonsville Community College in Baltimore County, where a 9-year-old boy had lost control of his sleigh and hit a tree.

County police said Michael Sean Ryan, of the 7300 block of Windsor Mill Road, suffered a head injury in the 5 p.m. accident. He was listed in stable condition at the Pediatric Trauma Center last night.

National Weather Service forecasters said Maryland was spared a heavier snowfall because the center of the storm turned south at the last minute and veered out to sea from the Virginia Coast.

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